The future 5 at the Australian Open

The future 5 at the Australian Open

The future 5 at the Australian Open

"Roger has an ability to be mature and be very objective and also expansive in his thinking so that he is able to make sure that this messaging is similar, simple and unified", adds the American.

In a separate rule change designed to get matches started more quickly, warm-up times will be strictly enforced.

Former winner Stan Wawrinka, who hasn't played since Wimbledon but said he has recovered sufficiently from a knee injury, is seeded at nine.

A short while ago it seemed an overwhelming inevitability that Federer and Nadal would lock horns once more in the final but with Djokovic now lurking in the background that theory is far from certain.

Here is the list of players who have been struggling with fitness in the lead-up to the first Grand Slam of the year.

Defending champion Roger Federer could then await in the semi-finals before a potential showdown with world No 1 Rafael Nadal in the final.

The Aussie has been sidelined for much of the last two years, but he's still just 21, and he can still rip a forehand.

Raonic suffered two injuries in 2017 which largely curtailed his season.

Federer will face world number 51 Aljaz Bedene in the opening round, while Kyrgios goes up against Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva.

"In my opinion, it's not about the crazy calendar", Rafael Nadal, back at No. 1, said in a recent interview. So I think he's the favourite.

The Open's top seed broke Thiem twice in the second set for the only breaks of the match.

Alas, the chance of one of those young hopes coming from Britain seems unlikely - the Poms took a bashing in yesterday's draw.

Luckily, the surgery was a success and Alexis Jr. This change was made after a spate of early withdrawals last year. I've been involved with three athletes in Sampras, Henman and Federer and athletically they do things so easily around the court. The Big Four have never seen this kind of youth uprising before.

Stephens withdrew from the Brisbane International due to a troublesome knee. She wasn't prepared for all the different emotions that came along with being a new mom.

"Last year's season was a bit long and I had to start a little bit later than I would've liked".

Spain's powerhouse Garbine Muguruza, who triumphed at Wimbledon last year to claim a second grand slam, is tipped as the player most likely to assume the dominant role.

Goerges began 2018 with a bang after clinching the Auckland Classic title after beating Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

Given his 2017 breakout, the pressure will be on the 20-year-old right away Down Under. For the women's title, I am going to pick the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who wowed tennis fans with her aggressive style that led to her fairy tale victory in Paris. However, Serena announced her decision to withdraw from the Australian Open last week stating that she didn't feel ready to compete at the highest level.

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